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tv   Newsday  BBC News  February 13, 2024 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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jordan's king abdullah at the white house in the uk — the labour party says it's withdrawing support for its candidate in a by—election in rochdale, after spending much of the day defending its decision to stand by him. and in brazil — rio de janeiro�*s world famous carnival is in full swing. you're watching newsday. lets start with the latest on the israel—gaza war. the us state department has defended israeli air strikes on the city of rafah, despite claims from hamas that around a 100 palestinians were killed. the strikes hit the city of rafah on the border with egypt, as part of a rescue mission to free two hostages
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being held by hamas — designated as a terror group by the uk, us and other nations. around 1.5 million palestinians are currently sheltering in rafah, with hundreds of thousands fleeing there amid months of fighting in gaza. aid agencies say people have run out of places to go, and senior un officials have stepped up calls for israel to refrain from attacking the city. but benjamin netanyahu says only continued military pressure on hamas will release the more than 100 remaining hostages. lucy williamson reports. explosion. last night, israel's army came to rafah. special forces, backed by airstrikes on homes and mosques.
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left behind, more than 60 people dead... ..and took with them two israeli hostages, snatched from a second—floor apartment. this, the moment counterterrorist police went in and brought them out. the military vehicle moving rapidly towards the israeli border. inside, theirfirst moments of freedom caught on the units' body cams. 60—year—old fernando marman and 70—year—old louis har were kidnapped from kibbutz nir yitzhak on october the 7th. covered by special forces on their way out of gaza, covered on arrival with love. military operations have so far freed three hostages. relatives say a deal with hamas is still the best way to get the others out. mentally, they look ok. physically, they look ok.
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please, be serious and strike a deal. the israeli people needs the deal done. not yesterday, not tomorrow — today. we want it done as soon as possible. we want to go back to our ordinary life. for gazans, ordinary life has disappeared, buried in the rubble of their homes, in the quivering of their children. translation: we were at home when the airstrikes _ were going on. i told my mother that i wanted to use the bathroom. suddenly, all the walls of the bathroom and all the water containers above it collapsed on me. rafah is the next target for israel's army. the war has pushed half of gaza's population south, into this border town. the us has warned an offensive here, without proper planning, would be a disaster.
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israel is so far sticking to its plan. the united nations and international actors now face a fateful choice. do they want to save hamas or save palestinian civilians? they cannot stop israel from dismantling the last four hamas battalions in the gaza strip and securing the release of the 134 remaining hostages. the price of israel's war is rising. forfamilies in rafah today, the cost — incalculable. the us is urging israel to consider a potential hostage deal to pause the fighting. israel worries that a deal would mean hamas surviving. but after four months of war it isn't the group's leaders who are dying. lucy williamson, bbc news, jerusalem. the un, the uk and the us have all warned there could be
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a humanitarian catastrophe if israel goes ahead with a ground offensive in rafah. i have been speaking to middle east expert andrew thomas from deakin university in melbourne on whether israel will listen to its allies. well, they haven't listened so far. granted there hasn't been that much pressure from the united states and the uk, pardon me on this issue, but the the patience for israel's allies isn't unlimited. i think that's one miscalculation that benjamin netanyahu and the war cabinet have made is how much the israel's allies are willing to put up with this humanitarian disaster, particularly the fact that an expansion into rafah would mean notjust the killing of civilians from israeli air strikes, but also the ability for aid to get in. rafah is, of course, the border between egypt and gaza and how the majority of food and medicine has
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been coming into gaza. and that risks sending hundreds of thousands of gazans into pretty severe starvation. so i think that's why the rhetoric from the united kingdom and the united states has shifted a little bit. it's still not particularly forceful, but it has that kind of has been a watershed moment. and, of course, egypt is is very concerned about this as well. right. and prime minister benjamin netanyahu had said that they were working on a plan to ensure the safety of civilians. but is that really possible considering over one million people of the entire gaza population is currently crammed into rafah? yeah. it's also important to note that prior to the gaza war, rafah was home to about 250,000 gazans. so now that is effectively quadrupled in size, in population density. and that as much as, yes, benjamin netanyahu says he's working on a plan, it's not quite clear
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what that plan is. that plan may simply be to put more pressure on egypt to open the border, which egypt is not prepared to do. and to be perfectly honest, many gazans are not prepared to do. they feel that they won't be allowed back and that's something that historically has played out as well. we also just heard from the us president who was hosting the jordanian king. they were talking about a possible hostage deal that is being worked out. president biden again stressed on the need to protect the civilians on the ground. but if israel does go through, what kind of repercussions can we expect, given the warnings, as you said, have come in from the likes of egypt and saudi arabia? well, egypt has said that in particulartheir peace
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deal, that was signed by anwar sadat back in the 19705 is at stake. they said that they weren't interested. it wouldn't mean necessarily war between egypt and israel, but suspending that peace deal is still on the table if israel effectively puts enough pressure on egypt's border. egypt does not want effectively palestinian or any kind of insurgent group in the sinai in egypt, largely because it sees the likes of lebanon where militant groups are shelling into israel and israel is making incursions into that territory. presidentjoe biden has been meeting jordan's king abdullah at the white house to discuss the war in gaza. it is their first meeting since three us troops were killed in a drone strike on an american base injordan, which the us blamed on an iran—backed militia.
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mr biden again urged israel not to carry out a big assault without a credible plan to ensure the safety of civilians. as the king and i discussed today, the united states is working on a hostage deal between israel and hamas, which would bring an immediate and sustained period of calm into gaza. for at least six weeks, which we could then take the time to build something more enduring. butjordan�*s king abdullah ii struck a different tone, appealing for a full ceasefire to end the war in gaza. nearly 100,000 people have been killed, injured, orare missing. the majority are women and children. we cannot afford an israeli attack on rafah. it is certain to produce another humanitarian catastrophe. the situation is already unbearable for over1 million people who have been pushed into rafah since the war started.
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we cannot stand by and let this continue. we need a lasting ceasefire now. this war must end. daniel lippman is the white house and washington reporter for politico — here's his assessment on the talks. well, obviously they don't broadcast too much of it, but i'm sure it was pretty candid with both sides telling the other, "hey, we got to stop this war. it is causing turmoil in the middle east". what has been interesting that i've noticed is that biden behind the scenes is much more critical of netanyahu. he has called him an expletive in front of donors. he has said he's killing him, and that he thinks that netanyahu has extended the war to stay in power because after october 7th, there was a lot of calls from israelis to get rid of netanyahu because he had failed to prevent that attack that killed 1200 israelis. and so i'm sure that biden
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and the king ofjordan were kind of trying to brainstorm, "how do we stop this conflict"? "how do we get rid of hamas but also get those hostages back"? daniel, you track the white house very closely. how much pressure is the us under to ensure israel heeds its advice to exercise caution as president biden continues to stress? well, i think what the pressure really has been, political pressure from all those protests in the streets. even white house interns and administration interns have said, "oh, this is not something that they signed up for". and the biden campaign is really worried about losing michigan, which is a swing state. there's lots of arab—americans there. and so they sent top national security officials there last week, and they were pretty candid with those leaders, telling them that they think the white house has made some mistakes in terms of not recognising palestinian
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casualties as much as they should have. and so, you know, it's been reported that the white house has even considered delaying military transfers to israel to try to pressure them to let up on gaza and get a cease fire sooner rather than later. is there also a worry in the white house that a possible impending ground offensive in rafah could have a wider fallout in the region, given the warnings that have come in from countries like saudi arabia and and egypt? i think the white house is very worried about that. and they have publicly said that this is not something israel should do unless there is a place for these million plus people to go. and there really aren't that many places in gaza right now. and so you have to wonder whether israel would want them flee to egypt, which is not something the biden administration supports. the biden national security comms adviser, john kirby, said today that there are legitimate military targets in rafah, but
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obviously it's a heavily, populated area. and so they're trying to get israel to exercise restraint. but they do concede that israel, the reason that hamas is more likely to strike a deal is that of some of the military pressure on hamas in khan yunis, for example. and so there is a balancing act that the white house is trying to do. it's almost like a tightrope. around the world and across the uk. this is bbc news. this yellow fleet of electric vehicles is part of a fundamental change, but can it get the public on board? greater manchester has been taking its buses back under local control, starting here in bolton. the idea is to give the public a bigger say in how
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services are run but there is pressure for the approach to be adopted elsewhere, including the north—east. could this be a route for other regions to follow, and from newcastle, they hope so. she's organised a petition about services lost from her local stop saying residents have been left isolated from key facilities. we have a health centre here that— we have a health centre here that people in heaton use. they have _ that people in heaton use. they have to — that people in heaton use. they have to get taxes down. you have — have to get taxes down. you have a — have to get taxes down. you have a lot _ have to get taxes down. you have a lot of senior citizens who — have a lot of senior citizens who can't _ have a lot of senior citizens who can't afford it. you're live with bbc news. police in delhi have banned all public gatherings ahead of a protest march on india's capital on tuesday, by thousands of farmers. security forces have put up concrete barricades, metal blocks and iron nails to close key highways leading into the city. the farmers are demanding minimum pricing on crops,
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improved pensions and better working conditions. the protests come ahead of national elections, in which prime minister narendra modi is expected to win a third term in office. india's farmers form an influential voting bloc. 0ur south asia regional editor, anbarasan ethirajan gave us the latest. we are not talking about more than 200 farmers union taking part in this process, starting from tuesday, mainly from the states of haryana, punjab and uttar pradesh, states bordering the capital of delhi, and the police have made elaborate security arrangements as mentioned, putting barricades near the border of delhi, concrete structures, and barred major gatherings inside delhi, and rallies. so the farmers are asking to the minimum support price, guaranteed minimum price for produce should be announced for all food crops they are producing,
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which should be made into law. they also want pension for farmers about the age of 60, pointing out that despite all the years and government support, many farmers are struggling to make ends meet and it is time for government to intervene and help them out. the government says that at this point they are talking with the farmers, and they held late—night talks that proved inconclusive, and they want to hold another round of talks on tuesday. given that elections are nearing, and the farmers vote is significant, how important would it be for the present establishment to try and send out the right kind of message and when it comes to the farmers? the farmers form a huge block of voters, you're talking about tens of millions of voters in northern india, where the three states mainly farmers which are coming to the protest in delhi, statistically possibly thinking the elections are two months away, this would put pressure on the government and prime minister narendra modi, so that he can
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accept the request. they point out what happened in 2021, when the end of the protests after a year, though the government repealed those contentious farm laws, many of the promises were not fulfilled and that is why they think it is the right time to put forward that proposal to the government. 0n the other hand, the government thinks that in case they are seem to be given into the demands again, they will appear weak in front of the electorate, which is why the government is desperate to find a solution by holding talks, even though not all of the farming unions are taken part in the protests, as the days progress if the other unionsjoin, we would see the huge crowds that we saw in 2021, which is a concern for the government.
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ukraine has demanded action against protesting polish farmers — who stopped several ukrainian trucks at the border and emptied some of their grain cargo onto the road. social media images showed piles of grain next to the ukrainian lorries — which had already cleared customs. prosecutors in poland say they're investigating. two prisoners held at the us detention centre at guantanamo bay have returned to afghanistan more than 20 years after they were arrested. they landed in kabulfrom 0man — where they've spent the last seven years under house arrest. abdul zahir was seized in bagram — while abdul karim was captured in pakistan. around 30 people are still held in guantanamo bay. the west african regional bloc — ecowas — has sent a diplomatic mission to senegal to discuss the postponement of its presidential elections. the delegation will meet local officials and politicians.
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senegal�*s president — macky sall — decided to push back the polls earlier this month. the opposition described the move as a constitutional coup. labour has now withdrawn its support for its candidate in the rochdale by—election later this month, in the light of new information about comments he made about israel. the bbc understands azhar ali has been suspended from the party, pending an investigation. mr ali has apologised after he was recorded suggesting that israel had allowed the 7th october attacks to go ahead, so that it could do whatever it wanted in response. earlier, labour had defended standing by their candidate. here's our political correspondent alex forsyth. this was the man labour had hoped would be its next mp for rochdale, launching his campaign less than a week ago. but tonight labour has withdrawn its support from azhar ali, and it is understood he has been suspended from the party.
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what keir starmer has done this evening is shown that when he said he would root anti—semitism out of the labour party and make sure it had no place in the labour party, tonight the decision he has taken is evidence that he is sticking by that no matter what the circumstances. azhar ali had apologised after reportedly saying israel had allowed the october the 7th attacks to happen. initially senior labour figures condemned his comments but stood by him, saying they believed he understood the gravity of what he had said. but tonight the party changed position, saying they had had new information about further comments he had made. they have given themselves very much the worst of all worlds, haven't they? now it looks like they have done this because they were shamed into doing this rather than having done it out of principle. they have seriously damage their own credibility on this issue and the credibility that the jewish community needs to have in them.
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in rochdale, though, it is too late for labour to change its candidate, so azhar ali will still appear on the ballot paper for the party even though if he wins he will not sit as labour mp. voters who want to back labour essentially have the choice between a candidate who in the end might notjoin the ranks of labour mps or otherwise staying at home. there is no doubt that this row about that candidate in a constituency where already sir keir starmer�*s stance on gaza was going to be controversial with at least a considerable section of the potential labour electorate, it does make labour's life more difficult. george galloway is standing in rochdale and putting labour's stance on gazza front and centre. the contest here has taken a new turn, and it is one certainly labour wouldn't have wanted. alex forsyth. and we mentioned that by—election, here's a full list of candidates standing
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in the rochdale by—election. if you'd like more information, you can head to our website. let's turn to pakistan now because elections have shown that the country remains as politically fractured as it has been for years. efforts to form a government are continuing after the closer—than—expected outcome, which left no single party with the required majority. the nation — which has significant economic problems — could well be without a stable government for weeks, maybe months. following the vote, the second and third largest parties are in negotiation. but candidates linked to the imprisoned former prime minister imran khan formed the largest bloc. there's a big question mark over what influence they can wield, and uncertainty over what these results could mean for the all—powerful pakistani military. migratory species such as the african penguin and the whale shark play a crucial role in protecting the ea rth�*s habitats. but a landmark report from the united nations says the extinction risk of the most vulnerable species is on the rise.
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the report concludes that human actions, such as habitat destruction and climate change, are to blame. millions of people in the brazilian city of rio
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base parade in rio dejaneiro was now, there's no doubt that the carnival in rio is the most famous and it is more
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celebrated than in 50 countries around the world. for example, this is france and this is venice which started celebrating in the 11th century, making it one of the oldest carnivals in the world. so, each country puts its own spin to it and uses the festivity to celebrate culture, history and traditions that's all for now but do stay with us on bbc news. we had a sunny start the week but is going to be different for us. relatively mild, this is the outlook for the next few
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days. this is the picture across our neck of the woods, streaming in from the south—west so the air hasn't been all that mild over the uk but in the next few days we will see these warmer air masses stream in from the sub tropics so temperatures are expected to rise. here's the early morning forecast. wintry showers in scotland, pretty chilly as well with a touch of frost in the highlands. 5—6 c in the south of england. we can see this where the front approaching and behind it that warmer air streaming approaching and behind it that warmerairstreaming in approaching and behind it that warmer air streaming in which means extensive cloud across many parts of western britain initially and that will move north and eastwards through the day. 0utbreaks north and eastwards through the day. outbreaks of rain will
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come and go. an overcast and dreary day across the bulk of the uk, apart from scotland, here, with some sunshine and a little bit colder. into wednesday, further north means clouds. to the south itjust stays cloudy, rain, the winds coming in out of the south—west, not particularly strong but look at these temperatures. 1a celsius in yorkshire but still cold on the other side the weather front in scotland and northern ireland. into the weekend, into next week, it's a general trend here with these milder air masses sweeping in off the atlantic. stable temperatures, high of possibly 16 celsius and closer to single figures in the north
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of the uk. goodbye.
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bitcoin bounce: the cryptocurrency tops 50 thousand dollars for the first time in two years. and indonesians prepare to head to the polls in one of the most tightly contested elections in years. we look at how unemployment
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is likely to impact voters. hello and welcome to asia business report. i'm arunoday mukharji. let's start by talking about the bitcoin bounce. the world's largest cryptocurrency topped 50 thousand dollars for the first time in more than two years on monday ? the latest sign of a massive rebound for the crypto sector. so what 5 behind the rally? 0ur correspondent michelle fleury has more from new york. now, if you'd invested $1,000 in bitcoin at the start of the year, you'd have about $180 more than you started with. the flagship cryptocurrency has risen about 18% this year after reaching a milestone on monday that it hasn't seen since december 2021. one explanation is that you can now put money into bitcoin through your investment bank. us financial regulators recently approved the first exchange traded funds tied directly to the cryptocurrency.
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demand for these bitcoin funds, which began


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